Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Trust Formed to Prevent Infections

A statewide hospital research university partnership has been formed in South Carolina. The partnership called the “South Carolina Healthcare Quality Trust” (SCHQT) will be involved in research, identifying causes, and finding ways to prevent infections. The three partners including Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC), South Carolina Hospital Association and the Premier healthcare alliance are investing more than $1.7 million over a three year period.

The largest research universities playing an important role in the venture include Clemson University, Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina. The largest health systems working through HSSC will be using existing evidence-based best practices as well as researching and developing new methods to eliminate preventable infections.

One of the first tasks for the Trust will be to create a special information sharing portal that will allow all South Carolina Hospitals to research the causes of healthcare associated infections, and to identify and promote existing and new processes for prevention. Hospitals will be able to track their improvement against state and national benchmarks via the Performance Improvement Portal which is Premier’s knowledge exchange community of more than 1,500 healthcare experts nationwide. The idea is to share the results with all 65 of the state’s acute care hospitals.

The return on investment can be significant. Premier reported that data available from 16 south Carolina hospitals representing 42 percent of the state’s annual discharges can save the state’s hospitals as much as $40 million and reduce the length of stay of South Carolina patients by up to 24,000 days.